- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press; 1 edition (October 15, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0299193306
- ISBN-13: 978-0299193300
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #448,835 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Inside a Class Action: The Holocaust and the Swiss Banks 1st Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
Shadowing attorney Michael Hausfeld through almost three years of litigation, Schapiro, a freelance writer and poet, details the progress of the class action suit Holocaust survivors filed against Swiss banks in 1996. The suit accused the banks of hoarding Jewish money, of serving as a channel for Nazi profits from slave labor and for "being accessories to the crime of genocide." The tension of the battle between the plaintiffs and the defendants is almost tangible, as is the passion for justice that motivates Hausfeld, his team and the victims. One survivor, Alice Fisher, expresses a feeling echoed by many others that sheds light on the attitude of survivors toward the suit: "this is not just a material issue; this is a moral issue...This puts the Holocaust on the map against all the denials." Touching letters by victims, legal memos and first-person perspectives help this book create a complete panorama of the case, and a glimpse into the personal lives of the case's personalities make it a fascinating read.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"With a mastery of the legal issues and a keen eye for the human drama, Schapiro has made the intensity of the historic litigation come alive."—Michael Berenbaum, director of the Sigi Ziering Institute and author of The World Must Know
"A must read for anybody interested in the details of how a group of dogged individuals uncovered the truth involving Swiss banks and the Holocaust."—Kenneth R. Feinberg, adjunct professor of law, Georgetown University Law Center
"The link between the anesthetized corporate world of banking and the evil of the killing machine known as the Holocaust is a sobering one, and the utilization of the American court system to illuminate that link in an effort to attain justice, however belatedly, is surely of interest."—Frank Tuerkheimer, Robert L. Habush-Bascom Professor, University of Wisconsin–Madison Law School
Top customer reviews
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Schapiro provides a unique; "behind the scenes" look at the now-famous 1996 lawsuit filed against Swiss banks on behalf of Holocaust survivors. She provides amazing insight into a story that exploded onto the front pages, packed Congressional and Court hearings, and forever changed how the world views the Holocaust.
Schapiro deftly guides the reader through all phases of this litigation, from early discussions to court hearings, private negotiations, and the ultimate settlement. Schapiro did her homework -- having conducted extensive interviews with politicians, attorneys (on both sides), historians, researchers and survivors, as well as having scoured archival documents, court and congressional transcripts, and reviewing reams of news coverage. She relays the good, the bad and the ugly -- providing an unvarnished look at legal infighting, political feuds, and clashing egos.
Schapiro's special access to lead attorney Michael Hausfeld allows her to follow his legal "dream team" as it strips off the cloak of Swiss wartime neutrality and exposes a country and its bankers as economic allies of the Third Reich. Schapiro follows Hausfeld's decisionmaking as the case develops, and addresses important questions: What made Hausfeld take on such a case - pro bono no less? What professional and personal compromises did he make? Why did he choose to settle, rather than going to court? And was this truly a case about justice -- or money? Or both? Inside a Class Action powerfully demonstrates that justice is elusive.
This is one of the most well written, informative and exciting books I have ever read. I highly recommend it.